WILMINGTON Delaware Military Academy and Padua Academy spent the first two games of the teams’ nonconference volleyball battle feeling each other out, resulting in a split.
The Seahawks used what they learn in the first two games and applied it over the final two games and began to dictate the tempo, winning the third and fourth frames comfortably to finish off the Pandas in four sets — 25-21, 24-26, 25-17, 25-15.
“We ran a specific game plan against Padua, and it took us two games to get used it. Padua reacted to it, and we just made another adjustment,” Delaware Military coach John Grossman said. “They’re a really good team. We knew we had to play with a lot of intensity. I think once we got comfortable and got our intensity up, that’s when we started take off.”
The first game started out back-and-forth as the largest lead was three over the first 23 points as the Seahawks owned a 12-11 lead, but at that point, DMA went on a 6-0 run to build enough of a cushion to take a 1-0 lead in the match.
The second game was just as competitive as the first with the largest lead being four points, which was 18-14 in favor of the Pandas, but the Seahawks stormed back with four unanswered points to tie it at 18-18.
After four more ties, the Pandas finally put the game away with two straight points to break a 24-24 deadlock, earning the win in the second game and evening the match at 1-1
“We just worked on our game plan. We were excited because the crowd was with us,” Pandas head coach Lauren DiSabatino said of her team’s play in the first two games. “We were into the match. We were with it.”
Delaware Military settled into a rhythm in the middle of the third game with an 8-3 run that turned a two-point lead into a seven-point advantage at 21-14 and cruised from there to win 25-17 to move one game away from taking the match.
The Seahawks controlled the fourth game throughout thanks a 14-4 run early to set up a 25-15 win to clinch the match, and one reason for their strong final two games was that they began to get better at communicating in front of a loud crowd.
“I couldn’t hear most of the things that my coaches and teammates were saying. I tried to look at them and knew what mistakes I made, making communication a lot better,” Delaware Military’s Victoria Taylor said. “I knew if someone needed help, we’d do it, and we kind of blocked out the noise and focused on what we were doing.”